Here are 30+ Pakistani & North Indian dinner recipes that are wholesome, easy-to-make, and 100% delicious! All of these recipes are tested-and-perfected and loved by thousands. This post includes restaurant-famous recipes like Butter Chicken and Chicken Biryani as well as a few lesser-known recipes like Chicken Pulao or Zucchini (Courgette) Curry.

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A few years ago, my blog was lucky to be a finalist for the Saveur Blog Awards in the Most Inspired Dinner Recipes category. Until then, it hadn’t occurred to me that the majority of the recipes on my blog are in fact dinner recipes. I realized this is a reflection of my preferences as a Pakistani-American. In many areas I’m more American than Pakistani, but when it comes to dinner, I find South Asian main dishes to be the most satisfying meals in the world.

This roundup includes the top 30+ dinner recipes on my blog. It features a wide range of recipes including vegetarian recipes, rice dishes, chicken, and meat recipes. The majority of these are one-pot, quick and easy recipes that require no fancy techniques or special ingredients.

What is a typical Indian Dinner?

North Indian and Pakistani dinners usually consist of one main dish. This main dish (or curry, for simplicity) can be as straightforward as a dal or as elaborate as korma. In South Asian cuisine, you’ll find the main dish is almost always served along with a carb such as roti, rice, or naan.

  • If the main dish has plenty of sauce or ‘curry’, you can serve it with either basmati rice or flatbread.
  • For curries on the ‘drier’ side, you’ll typically need flatbread such as naan, roti, or paratha.
  • If the main dish itself is a rice dish such as biryani, you can serve alone along with yogurt or raita.

You can also serve small accompaniments such as chopped vegetables, raita, achar, or chutney along with the dinner.

What to serve with these dinner recipes

These recipes make complete meals when paired with rotinaan, paratha, or basmati rice. However, you can substitute roti or naan with other flatbreads such as pita bread or tortillas. You can also use any type of rice in place of basmati rice.

Vegetarian Recipes (Takeout Favorites!)

Authentic Chana Masala garnished with cilantro and julienned ginger in a black skillet

Authentic Chana Masala (Indian Chickpea Curry)

4.94 (145 ratings)
This authentic Indian & Pakistani-style Chana Masala recipe is vibrant, with just the right amount of tanginess, and rich in spicy flavor. This recipe makes tender, flavorful chickpeas in a perfectly spiced curry and requires simple ingredients that are commonly used in South Asian cooking. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that’s healthy, naturally vegan, and gluten-free.
Check out this recipe
Palak Paneer in a bowl with naan and rice, ready to be eaten

Palak Paneer (Easy, Authentic)

5 (11 ratings)
Palak Paneer, or Saag Paneer, is a restaurant-famous spinach and paneer curry. This recipe is crowd-pleasing with complex yet balanced, authentic flavor. It's also easy-to-follow, requires one pan if you skip pan-searing the paneer, and takes 50 minutes from start to finish! Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Aloo Baingan in a skillet with naan and yogurt on the side

Aloo Baingan – Eggplant and Potato Curry

4.99 (55 ratings)
Here's an easy Aloo Baingan (Eggplant/Aubergine and Potato Curry) recipe made with simple ingredients you likely have on hand. This is a Pakistani & North Indian-style vegan curry that's tasty enough to serve guests. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Baingan Bharta (Oven-Roasted Eggplant Curry) in a speckled bowl with naan and garnished cilantro.

Easy Baingan Bharta (Oven Roasted/Broiled Eggplant Curry)

4.98 (44 ratings)
Baingan Bharta is a prized Indian and Pakistani (Punjabi) dish. It consists of roasted eggplant in a delicately spiced dry curry. This recipe includes instructions on how to broil it in the oven, plus some essential tips on how to get it to taste amazing!
Check out this recipe
Close up of partially eaten plate of Matar Paneer with rice.

Matar Paneer (Easy + Flavorful, Restaurant-Style)

5 (9 ratings)
Matar Paneer is a North Indian dish with Peas (Matar) and Paneer in a rich, tomato-based curry. This recipe is easy-to-follow with nuanced, restaurant-style flavor and texture. Includes tips for soft paneer whether you choose to pan-fry it or not. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Close up of Aloo Palak in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

30-Minute Aloo Palak (Spinach and Potato Curry)

5 (109 ratings)
This quick and easy Spinach & Potato (Aloo Palak) curry recipe is healthy, full of authentic flavor, and naturally vegetarian (or vegan, if you omit the ghee). This curry is unique in that the potatoes boil on the side while you're preparing the curry, reducing any extra time to wait on the potatoes.
Check out this recipe
Holding a plate of chana dal with a spoon in it

Instant Pot Pakistani Chana Dal

5 (26 ratings)
This is an easy Pakistani Chana Dal made in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker). Chana Dal (or Split Chickpeas) are cooked with spices and given a simple tadka for an easy dinner. Naturally gluten-free and Vegan optional.
Check out this recipe
Mixed Vegetable Curry in a bowl with roti inside

Easy Mixed Vegetable Curry

5 (48 ratings)
Here’s a quick and easy Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe that’s perfect as a weeknight dinner or simple curried vegetable side dish. This Punjabi-style vegetable curry with potatoes and peas that has become a Tea for Turmeric community favorite! Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Cauliflower and Potato Curry (Aloo Gobi Recipe)

Cauliflower and Potato Curry (Aloo Gobi)

4.92 (74 ratings)
Here's a Cauliflower and Potato Curry (Aloo Gobi) recipe made in the traditional Punjabi way. This vegan curry recipe is easy & authentic and requires one pot and simple ingredients.
Check out this recipe
A white bowl filled with Instant Pot Red Lentil Dal, Basmati rice, ribbon of cucumber, sliced carrots and radishes and a lemon wedge.

Instant Pot Red Lentil Dal

5 (18 ratings)
This Instant Pot Split Red Lentil (Masoor) Dal curry is a quick, easy, and authentic Pakistani/North Indian-style dal recipe. It's naturally gluten-free, vegetarian (or optional vegan), and cooks within minutes!
Check out this recipe
Okra Curry on a white plate

Easy & Authentic Bhindi Masala (Okra Curry)

5 (36 ratings)
This easy Pakistani & Indian-style Bhindi Masala recipe (Okra curry) consists of stir-fried okra enveloped in a savory onion and tomato curry. I’ve tested this dry bhindi curry recipe countless times and I’m confident it will blow you away.
Check out this recipe

Rice Recipes

Chicken Biryani on a gold-trimmed platter with a silver rice spoon resting on the side

Pakistani Chicken Biryani (The BEST!)

4.95 (210 ratings)
An uncomplicated yet authentic Chicken Biryani recipe with simple, easy-to-follow instructions (no curveballs!) and mouthwatering, traditional Pakistani and Indian flavor. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Chicken pulao on a platter with a golden spoon and raita on the side.

Pakistani Chicken Pulao (Yakhni Pulao)

5 (20 ratings)
Here's a classic Yakhni Chicken Pulao recipe that's truly hard to mess up. This recipe promises deep flavor, tender chicken, and fluffy rice. It's also easy to double so you can serve it to guests with confidence. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Mutton Pulao in a bowl

Mutton Pulao (Goat/Lamb Pulao)

5 (13 ratings)
A classic but easy-to-follow Mutton Pulao recipe that promises deep flavor, tender goat or lamb, and fluffy rice. It’s also designed to double so you can serve it to guests with confidence. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Matar Pulao on a platter garnished with cilantro and dollops of raita.

Matar Pulao (Peas Pulao) – 20-Minute Prep!

5 (9 ratings)
This Matar Pulao (peas pulao) is easy, flavorful, and it takes 20 minutes of initial prep time! Perfect for a weeknight rice dish yet elegant enough for guests. This recipe includes stovetop and Instant Pot instructions.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Chicken Pulao in a bowl garnished with cilantro.

Instant Pot Chicken Pulao

4.89 (59 ratings)
This quick and easy Instant Pot Chicken Pulao recipe requires just 25 minutes of prep time and results in tender boneless chicken and perfectly cooked rice.
Check out this recipe
Chana Pulao in a Dutch Oven garnished with cilantro.

Chana Pulao (Chickpea Pilaf) – 20-minute prep!

4.96 (65 ratings)
A Chana Pulao (Chickpea Pulao) recipe that promises full flavor, tender chickpeas, and fluffy rice. This recipe takes 20 minutes of initial (pre-rice cooking) prep time but it’s tasty and elegant enough to serve as main dish for guests. Includes Stovetop and Instant Pot instructions! Tested to Perfection!
Check out this recipe

Chicken Curry Recipes

Chicken Jalfrezi in a black skillet with a silver spoon

Chicken Jalfrezi (Easy and Authentic)

5 (51 ratings)
Chicken Jalfrezi is a tomato-based curry made with boneless chicken, bell peppers, and onion. This recipe is easy, authentic, and brimming with flavor! Tested and perfected!
Check out this recipe
Close up of Chicken Manchurian in pot with a wooden spoon.

Chicken Manchurian (Crispy with Gravy)

4.70 (13 ratings)
Chicken Manchurian is so popular that it's practically synonymous with Indo-Chinese cuisine. Crispy chicken enveloped in a spicy, tangy, sweet sauce…everything we love! This quick & easy recipe makes truly crispy chicken with an ample amount of sauce. Tested to perfection!!
Check out this recipe
Authentic Chicken Curry in a dutch oven garnished with cilantro

Authentic Chicken Curry (Easy Chicken Salan)

4.98 (41 ratings)
Here’s an Easy and Authentic Chicken Curry recipe made in the traditional Pakistani and North Indian style. This is a simple, approachable curry recipe that you can make at home in under an hour. Unfussy, easy-to-follow, and tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Holding Chicken Karahi in a karahi

Pakistani Chicken Karahi

4.97 (132 ratings)
This is a restaurant-style Pakistani Chicken Karahi recipe that can be prepared quickly and easily with no finicky steps.
Check out this recipe
Saucy Chicken Shashlik with bell peppers and onions in a black skillet with a white napkin underneath

Chicken Shashlik (Saucy with Gravy) – Indo-Chinese Recipe

5 (26 ratings)
Chicken Shashlik is an Indo-Chinese recipe that's made with boneless chicken, bell peppers, and onion. Similar to Chicken Manchurian, this dish is coated in a sweet and spicy gravy that's bursting with flavor. This is an easy, kid-friendly weeknight dinner that can be made quickly and easily with pantry staples.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Butter Chicken Side

Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Quick & Easy)

5 (45 ratings)
This tried-and-tested homestyle Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe is easy to prepare yet yields authentic flavor and tender chicken!
Check out this recipe
Chicken Korma in a large pot with a wooden spoon.

The BEST Authentic Chicken Korma

4.95 (89 ratings)
This is a warm, deeply flavorful Chicken Korma recipe that has all the authentic flavor with simple, easy-to-follow instructions. Tested & perfected!!
Check out this recipe
Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk and rice in a beige bowl with a metal spoon.

Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk and Potatoes

5 (38 ratings)
This Chicken Curry is made with Coconut milk and Potatoes, giving it a creamy and comforting yet light and bright flavor profile. All you need is one pot and 40 minutes to make this healthy and easy recipe. Use potatoes, bell peppers, or whatever veggies you've got on hand. No curry paste required!
Check out this recipe
Achari Chicken in a white pot

Easy Achari Chicken

4.97 (26 ratings)
This is an easy, fuss-free, yet flavorful recipe for Achari Chicken, or Indian and Pakistani chicken curry made with pickling spices.
Check out this recipe
Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry

Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry (Easy & Authentic)

4.92 (37 ratings)
This Oven-Baked Tandoori Chicken curry recipe is so simple, but tastes like you spent hours on it. 20 minutes of prep time only! Easy and authentic, with no finicky steps.
Check out this recipe
Spicy Cashew Chicken in a bowl with rice with chopsticks and sesame seeds on the side

Chicken with Cashew Nuts (Indo-Chinese)

4.96 (23 ratings)
Here's a quick and easy 25-minute Chicken with Cashew Nuts recipe recipe with an Indo-Chinese twist (read: bolder flavor!). This recipe includes tips on how to get tender chicken and gives intense, yet balanced flavor!
Check out this recipe

Beef and Keema Recipes

Chapli Kabab Recipe

The Best Chapli Kabab

4.84 (25 ratings)
A Chapli Kabab recipe that's simple and easy to make yet tastes like it's from an Afghan or Pakistani restaurant. This recipe includes tips on how to get them crisp and juicy without breaking or falling apart. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry-2

Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry (Meatball Curry)

4.91 (120 ratings)
Beef Kofta Curry, or simply kofte, is a traditional Pakistani curry made of tender meatballs simmered in a spicy, flavorful sauce. This recipe has all the authentic flavor of old-fashioned kofte but it’s made in an easier, more approachable way.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Pakistani-style Haleem made with beef and grains in a white bowl with wooden spoon and garnishing

Easy Pakistani Haleem Recipe (Instant Pot)

4.89 (42 ratings)
This Pakistani-style Haleem recipe is authentic, full of classic flavor, and the perfect consistency…Yet easy to achieve in the Instant Pot.
Check out this recipe
Scooping up Keema Matar with a piece of naan.

Keema Matar (Ground Beef Curry with Peas)

4.94 (47 ratings)
This Pakistani and Indian-style Keema Matar (Ground Beef Curry with Peas) is an easy, one-pot keema recipe that’s deeply flavorful with no whole spices used. This recipe also includes tips on how to make Keema curry with ground chicken.
Check out this recipe
Seekh Kebab garnished with cilantro on a white plate

Pakistani Seekh Kebab (Ground Beef Skewers)

4.88 (40 ratings)
A simple, uncomplicated Seekh Kebab recipe made with ingredients you likely have on hand. This recipe includes tips on how to make flavorful, tender kebabs that don't break or fall off the skewers. Includes pan-frying, baking, and air-frying instructions.
Check out this recipe
Easy Instant Pot Nihari

Easy Instant Pot Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew)

5 (37 ratings)
This Instant Pot Nihari recipe takes 30 minutes of prep time but does not compromise on the authentic taste of this traditional Pakistani Beef Stew! Layers of flavor in every bite!
Check out this recipe
Aloo Keema (Ground Beef and potato curry) in a bowl with basmati rice and naan.

Aloo Keema (Ground Beef and Potato Curry)

5 (60 ratings)
Here's a recipe for an authentic, homestyle, Pakistani & North Indian style Aloo Keema (Keema Curry with potatoes). This is a traditional, one-pot recipe that's simple, easy-to make, and gives the most flavorful results!
Check out this recipe
A white plate with Shami Kebab alongside a bowl of raita, lemon wedge and garnished with mint leaves.

Easy Shami Kebab (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

4.86 (48 ratings)
Shami kebabs are tender patties made with beef and (yellow split peas) along with onion, herbs and spices. This recipe includes Instant Pot and stovetop instructions! Naturally gluten-free!
Check out this recipe

Homestyle Recipes

Aloo Gosht (Mutton and Potato Curry) in a white Dutch Oven.

Aloo Gosht (Mutton/Lamb and Potato Curry)

4.97 (27 ratings)
Aloo Gosht is a traditional Pakistani-style Mutton/Lamb and Potato Curry. Make this recipe with lamb or goat over stovetop or Instant Pot. Tested & perfected!
Check out this recipe
Sarson Ka Saag with a dollop of butter on a plate with spoons and makai ki roti on the side

Easy Sarson Ka Saag (Stovetop & Instant Pot)

4.94 (15 ratings)
This post will teach you how to make authentic Punjabi-style Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Greens & Spinach Curry) at home. This recipe includes stovetop and Instant Pot cooking instructions, plus substitutions if you can’t find mustard greens. Ready in under 1-hour, this recipe is the easiest path to a nostalgic vegetarian curry. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Zucchini Courgette Curry in a bowl

Pakistani Zucchini (Courgette) Curry | Toriyan (Torai ki Sabzi)

4.95 (160 ratings)
Adored by thousands, this easy Zucchini (Courgette) Curry is truly astonishing. This is a next-level tasty vegan curry that'll transform everyday Zucchini into something even kids will love!
Check out this recipe
Lentil Dal in a plate

Whole Masoor Dal – Brown Lentil Curry (Stovetop + Instant Pot)

5 (21 ratings)
A truly easy and wholesome Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentil Curry) recipe you can make with any variety of brown lentils. This is a dump-and-go recipe that includes stovetop and Instant Pot instructions. Healthy and flavorful with only 15 minutes of total hands-on time! Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Pakistani Beef Curry (Stew) in a bowl on top of a plate with naan

Easy Instant Pot Pakistani Beef Curry

5 (35 ratings)
This Instant Pot Pakistani Beef Curry, or stew, is an easy recipe in which boneless beef stew meat is cooked alongside yogurt and whole spices. Also called Istu, or Ishto, this is a deeply flavorful yet healthy, dump-and-go Instant Pot beef recipe.
Check out this recipe
Fish Curry in a White Pan ready to be eaten

Fish Curry (Fish Masala)

4.82 (16 ratings)
An easy-to-follow Fish Curry recipe made with an onion-tomato masala and simple spices. Tender yet crispy fish is nestled in a perfectly spiced, deeply flavorful curry and topped with garnishing ingredients for texture and vibrance. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Authentic Chicken Curry in a dutch oven garnished with cilantro
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30+ Indian & Pakistani Dinner Recipes, Including Authentic Chicken Curry

An Authentic Chicken Curry (or Chicken Salan) recipe made in the traditional Pakistani and North Indian style. Plus, check out 29 more Indian and Pakistani dinner recipes!

Watch the Video

Ingredients 

  • 1/3-1/2 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado
  • 2 small to medium (~320-350g) yellow onions, quartered
  • 6-8 (~1 tbsp) garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch (~1 tbsp) ginger, crushed
  • 2 lbs (907 g) bone-in, cut up, skinless chicken, cleaned and excess skin removed (See Note 1)
  • 2 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1-2 small green chili peppers (such as Serrano or Thai chili), stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 small (~200 g) tomatoes (I use Roma), quartered

Whole spices

  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 whole black peppercorns
  • 3-4 whole cloves

Ground spices

  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes, optional
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Garnishing

Instructions 

  • Place the onions in a food processor and use the pulse function to chop finely but not blend.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven over medium-high or high heat (depending on your stove). Once hot, add the oil and chopped onions. Sauté until the onions turn golden (~12-15 min). Meanwhile, in the same food processor, add the tomatoes and pulse to chop into a rough purée. Deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp of water.
  • Once the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and sauté until the raw smell disappears and the onions deepen in color (~1 min). If needed, deglaze the pan again with 2 tbsp of water. Add the chicken and 1/4 tsp salt and fry it until it changes color, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the whole spices, ground spices, remaining salt (2 tsp), and green chili pepper. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pan if the bits start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the tomatoes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, until you can see the oil separating from the curry. Add 1 3/4 – 2* (see Note 2) cups of water and stir to mix. Cover the pan to bring to a gentle boil.
  • Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer (low or low-medium). Cover and allow the curry to cook for 25 minutes, stirring once in between. The chicken should be very tender. Taste and add salt, if needed. Uncover and continue to allow the chicken to simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the oil rises to the top.
  • Turn off the heat. Garnish with garam masala and cilantro. Serve with rice, roti, or naan.

Notes

Note 1: See post for how to make this with boneless chicken breast or thighs. 
Note 2: Adjust water amount according to how much curry/salan you prefer. Keep in mind the chicken and tomatoes will also release their moisture.
 
 
Calories: 384kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 78mg, Sodium: 961mg, Potassium: 527mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 145IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 1mg